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Arts and Cultural Support for an Affluent and Vibrant Society
On February 14, 1990, Kigyo Mécénat Kyogikai (KMK: Association for Corporate Support of the Arts, Japan) was founded by private corporations as Japan's first non-profit association devoted to promoting corporate support of the arts [mécénat]. The promotion of positive support of the arts by Japan's leading corporations is the challenge facing KMK.
KMK continues to undertake the arduous task of building an infrastructure for cultural support. As means to achieve this mission, KMK conducts research, surveys and seminars to promote partnerships between businesses and the arts, as well as providing information and statistical data relating to corporate support of the arts.
For further information, some of the main press releases (Enlgish version) are available on this website.
Mécénat is a French word that means support of arts and culture. The origin of the word dates back to ancient Rome, to Minister Maecenas, a generous patron of poets and artists, who worked under Emperor Augustus. The word derives from Maecenas' name and is a contemporary term for the "act of advocating and supporting arts and culture."
Upon the establishment of the KMK in Japan in 1990, the term "mécénat" was chosen instead of the term "sponsor," which had been used to mean sponsorship of television programs as opposed to the support of the arts on the whole. The term is used to define corporate support of the arts and culture, an activity conducted by corporations as part of social contribution and through the self-awareness to act as corporate citizens.
The Role of Corporate Arts Support
Kigyo Mécénat Kyogikai (KMK: Association for Corporate Support of the Arts) continue to develop partnerships between the arts and businesses, governments, NPOs and other sectors in society, for further promotion of mecenat.
In an era of material affluence as this, people are aspiring for spiritual affluence more than ever before. A balanced economy and culture are required for building a new nation. In recent years, corporations have become self-aware of their role in society and how their conduct greatly affects society. They have begun to work on various social issues as well as primary business to contribute to the society as part of corporate social responsibility.
Mécénat is one of the social contribution activities, and corporations that are actively supporting the arts are growing in number. The arts and culture mirror the age and embrace values of "innovation" and "creativity" for the betterment of society. For any corporation, to promote local culture for community revitalization or support the arts that engender new values is a social investment for future society. Such activities also promise a sustainable development for the corporation. Corporations are demanded of their total brand image. It is all the more important for a corporation to tie connections with the arts for purposes of business innovation, because the arts are always innovative, flexible and rich with ideas and sensibility.
Furthermore, as corporations deepen their communication with society through daily mécénat activities, structures of corporate value will diversify, promising business operation of high quality. For the realization of a genuinely rich and sustainable society, the importance of corporate mécénat that is sure to grow in the future.
KMK will continue to develop partnerships between the arts and businesses, governments, NPOs and other sectors in society, for further promotion of mécénat.